Readings

SES # Topic Readings
1

Introduction

Session 1 study questions

‘IMF World Bank Comment’ Gensler, The Banker (September 2018).

The blockchain catalyst for change ’ Vox (July 16, 2018) 

2

Money, Ledgers & Bitcoin

Session 2 study questions

 ‘ Conflict reigns over the history and origins of money ’ Science News (July 29, 2018)

A Brief History of Money ’ IEEE Spectrum (May 30, 2012)

What is Money? An Artist’s Make and Take ’ Wall Street Journal video (November 11, 2014)

A Brief History of Ledgers ’ LLFOURN, Medium (February 15, 2018)

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, Preface — The Long Road to Bitcoin’ (PDF - 18MB) Clark (pages 3 – 21) (February 9, 2016)

Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper ’ e-mail Nakamoto (October 31, 2008)

3

Blockchain Basics & Cryptography

Session 3 study questions

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ (PDF) Nakamoto (October 31, 2008)

Blockchain Technology Overview’ (PDF)  National Institute of Standards and Technology (January 2018)  (pages 9 – 23, sections 1 & 2)

Blockchain 101 — A Visual Demo ’ Brownworth, MIT (November 5, 2016)

4

Blockchain Basics & Consensus

Session 4 study questions

21st Geneva Report on the World Economy - The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Finance: Catalyst for Change ’ Chapter 1 (pages 1 – 7); Casey, Crane, Gensler, Johnson, and Narula  (July 2018)

 ‘ Blockchain Technology Overview’ (PDF)  National Institute of Standards and Technology (January 2018)  (pages 9 – 23, sections 1 & 2)

The Byzantine Generals Problem ’ Lamport, Shostak, & Pease; ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), 4(3), (July 1982) (required 382-387)

A (Short) Guide to Blockchain Consensus Protocols ’ CoinDesk (March 4, 2017)

Optional Reading:

For those wishing for a technical dive into Bitcoin Scripting Language, one can review ‘ Script
by Bitcore or ‘The Best Step-by-Step Bitcoin Script Guide ’ by Blockgeeks.

5

Blockchain Basics and Transactions, UTXO, and Script Code

Session 5 study questions

Bitcoin’s Academic Pedigree ’ Narayanan and Clark (August 29, 2017)

Making Sense of Cryptoeconomics ’ CoinDesk (August 19, 2017) 

6

Smart Contracts & DApps

Session 6 study questions

Smart Contracts: 12 Use Cases for Business & Beyond’Chamber of Digital Commerce’ (PDF - 5.9MB) (December 2016)

State of the DApps: 5 Observations from Usage Data ’ McCann, Medium (April 2018)

Ethereum Competitors: Guide to the Alternative Smart Contract Platforms ’ Blockonomi (February 28, 2018)

Optional Readings:

Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets ’ Szabo (1996)

A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform ’ Ethereum Whitepaper as maintained on Ethereum Wiki (2013, updated through August 21, 2018)

Blockchain Technology as a Regulatory Technology ’ De Filippi & Hassan, Harvard (January 2018)

7

Technical Challenges

Session 7 study questions

21st Geneva Report on the World Economy -The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Finance: Catalyst for Change ’ Chapter 2 -Blockchain technology’s opportunities and challenges (pages 9 –16)

On the Scalability of Blockchains  ’The Control (March 23, 2018) 

Transactions Speeds: How Do Cryptocurrencies Stack Up To Visa or PayPal?  ’HowMuch.net (January 10, 2018)

Layer 2 | the lightning network ’ Digital Currency Initiative

Top 8 Privacy Coins ’ Invest in Blockchain (April 16, 2018)

Optional Readings:

On sharding blockchains ’ Ethereum Wiki (accessed August 20, 2018)

zkLedger: Privacy-Preserving Auditing for Distributed Ledgers ’ Narula, Vasquez, & Virza (April 2018)

Public Policy

Session 8 study questions

Cryptocurrencies: Oversight of New Assets in the Digital Age’ (PDF) Gensler (July 18, 2018)

The Future of Money’ (PDF) Carney (March 2, 2018)

‘Nobel-winning economist: Authorities will bring down ‘hammer’ on bitcoin ’ CNBC (July 9, 2018) 

Permissioned Systems

Session 9 study questions

Enterprises Building Blockchain Confront Early Tech Limitations ’ CoinDesk (March 23, 2018)

Technical difference between Ethereum, Hyperledger fabric and R3 Corda ’ Nandi, Medium (March 16, 2018)

What is Corda? ’ Newton, Medium (June 5, 2018)

A Blockchain Platform for the Enterprise, Introduction ’ Hyperledger Fabric (May 5, 2018)

What is Digital Asset? | Distributed Ledgers for Financial Institutions ’ Coin Central (June 22, 2018)

10

Financial System Challenges & Opportunities

Session 10 study questions

Top financial services issues of 2018’ (PDF - 1.2MB) PwC Financial Services Institute (December 2017)

Sheila Bair on What Hasn’t Changed Since the Great Recession ’ New York Magazine, Daily Intelligencer (August 9, 2018)

The Rise of Market Concentration and Rent Seeking in the Financial Sector’ (PDF) Zhang; Harvard (April 2017) (Required pages 2 –5, 24 –26)

Optional Reading:

Ten Years After the Crash, We Are Still Living in the World It Brutally Remade ’ New York Magazine, Daily Intelligencer (August 2018) 

11

Blockchain Economics

Session 11 study questions

 ‘ Why Bitcoin is and isn’t like the Internet ’ Ito (January 23, 2015)

Some Simple Economics of the Blockchain ’ Catalini and Glans (revised June 2018)

Transaction Costs and Tethers: Why I’m a Crypto Skeptic ’ Krugman, New York Times (July 31, 2018)

Billionaire Bill Gates once got bitcoin as a birthday present — here’s what he did with it ’ CNBC (May 8, 2018) 

‘Dr. Doom’ Economist Nouriel Roubini Bearish on Everything Crypto ’ Forbes (August 25, 2018)

Optional Readings:

The Economic Limits of Bitcoin and the Blockchain’ (PDF) Budish, University of Chicago (June 5, 2018)

Valuing Bitcoin and Ethereum with Metcalfe’s Law ’ Clearblocks, Medium (February 13, 2018)

The Meaning of Decentralization  ‘Buterin, Medium (February 6, 2017)

12 

Assessing Use Cases

Session 12 study questions

21st Geneva Report on the World Economy - The Impact of Blockchain Technology on Finance: Catalyst for Change ’ Chapter 2 – A framework for understanding transaction costs and trade-offs (pages 14 –16); Chapter 3 - Blockchain technology and finance (pages 17–30) & Chapter 5 – Broader potential economic impact (pages 51 –55)

Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value? ’ McKinsey (June 2018)

A Letter to Jamie Dimon’ (PDF - 1.1MB) Chain (October 16, 2017)

The promise of the blockchain technology ’ Economist (September 1, 2018)

13 

Payments, Part 1

Session 13 study questions

The Federal Reserve Payments Study: 2017 Annual Supplement ’ Federal Reserve

‘Global Payments Report ’ Worldpay (November 2017)

The Best Mobile Payment Apps of 2018 ’ PC World (April 2, 2018)

Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares ’ Bloomberg (May 23, 2018)

‘M-PESA: how Kenya revolutionized mobile payments ’ N26 Magazine (April 9, 2018)

Cross-border retail payments ’ (PDF - 1.2MB) Bank of International Settlements Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (February 2018) (Required: page 6 –15, sections 2 -2.3.5 & Box B;and page 39, Annex 3)

14 

Payments, Part 2

Session 14 study questions

How Blockchain Can Finally Fulfill Its Promise in Global Payments ’  CoinDesk (June 9, 2018)

Extending the World of Payments to Blockchain’ (PDF - 4.4MB) ACI Worldwide (2017)

The Payment Industry is About to Be Struck by Lightning: Expert Take ’ Coin Telegraph (March 21, 2018)

Why Stripe Gave Up on Bitcoin and Blockchain Payments ’ Fortune (July 17, 2018)

How XRP Fits into Ripple’s Payments Products Explained ’ CoinDesk (March 4, 2018)

15 

Central Banks & Commercial Banking, Part 1

Session 15 study questions

‘Central bank digital currencies’ (PDF - 1.2MB) Bank for International Settlements, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (March 2018)

The Future of Money: Digital Currency’ (PDF) Garratt (July 18, 2018)

‘Central Banks and digital currencies ’ Broadbent (March 2, 2016)

A perspective on electronic alternatives to traditional currencies ’ Camera (January 23, 2017)

Bitcoin is fiat money, too ’ Economist (September 22, 2017)

Optional Reading:

Bitcoin, DLT and Bank Ledgers: A Central Banker’s View ’ Qian, People’s Bank of Central; CoinDesk (June 19, 2018) 

16 

Central Banks & Commercial Banking, Part 2

Session 16 study questions

The Riksbank e-krona project Action plan for 2018’ (PDF) Sveriges Riksbank (December 2017)

The World’s First Central Bank Electronic Money Has Come – And Gone: Ecuador, 2014-2018 ’ Alt-M (March 29, 2018)

Stable Coins Analysis: Is There A Viable Solution for The Future? ’ Coin Telegraph (May 14, 2018)

PH Moving to Test Digital Fiat Currencies with RCBC’s ePiso’ (PDF - 6.5MB) Entrepreneur (June 14, 2018)

eCurrency Mint Limited and Banque Régionale De Marchés Launch New Digital Currency in Senegal ’ Business Wire (November 4, 2016)

Optional Readings:

Guide to Stablecoin: Types of Stablecoins & Its Importance ’ Master the Crypto (August 23, 2018)

Method and System for Linkage of Blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts ’ (PDF - 2.1MB) U.S. Patent Office (July 17, 2018) 

17 

Secondary Markets & Crypto-Exchanges

Session 17 study questions

Move deliberately, fix things: How Coinbase is building a cryptocurrency empire ’ Washington Post (May 17, 2018)

Robinhood rolls out zero-fee crypto trading as it hits 4M users ’ TechCrunch (February 22, 2018)

After Nasdaq CEO Blesses Cryptocurrency, Investors See Bigger Future for Bitcoin, Others ’ Forbes (April 25, 2018)

Bitcoin Sees Wall Street Warm to Trading Virtual Currency ’ New York Times (May7,2018)

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Getting Hacked Because It’s Easy ’ Wall Street Journal (July 16, 2018)

The sad state of crypto custody ’ TechCrunch( February 1, 2018)

Optional Reading:

‘Guide to Decentralized Exchanges: Comparison of Popular DEXs ’ Master the Crypto (August 25, 2018)

18 

A New Approach to Crypto-Exchanges & Payments

Session 18 study questions

Intercontinental Exchange Announces Bakkt, a Global Platform and Ecosystem for Digital Assets ’ ICE (August 3, 2018)

The NYSE’s Owner Wants to Bring Bitcoin to Your 401(k). Are Crypto Credit Cards Next? ’ Fortune (August 3, 2018)

Starbucks App Leads Mobile Payment Competitors ’ eMarketer (May 22, 2018)

19 

Primary Markets, ICOs, & Venture Capital, Part 1

Session 19 study questions

All-Time Cumulative ICO Funding ’ CoinDesk (as of August 30, 2018)

‘Initial Coin Offerings and the Value of Crypto Tokens ’ Catalini and Gans (June 25, 2018)

10 keys for evaluating Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investments ’ Crypto Potato (April 26, 2018)

Nearly Half of 2017 Cryptocurrency ‘ICO’ Projects Have Already Died ’ Forbes (February 25, 2018)

The Rise of the ICO, and What It Could Mean for Venture Capital ’ Visual Capitalist (May 3, 2018)

How to Launch An ICO, A Detailed Guide’ Coin Telegraph ’ (February 2018) (Note: this reading is presented to understand the state of the ICO market, circa early 2018 not as a set of recommendations.)

Optional Reading:

‘J. R. Willett: How I Invented the First ICO’ RadarZero (March 20, 2018) 

20 

Primiary Markets, ICOs, & Venture Capital, Part 2

Session 20 study questions

Digital Asset Transactions: When Howey Met Gary (Plastic) ’ Hinman, SEC (June 14, 2018)

Initial Coin Offerings: Can Regulators Curb the Risks? How Many ICOs Are Scams? ’ ValueWalk (March 30, 2018)

ICO Quality: Development & Trading ’ Dowlat & Hodapp, Satis Group (March 21, 2018)

Hundreds of Bitcoin Wannabes Show Hallmarks of Fraud ’ Wall Street Journal (May 17, 2018)

21 

Post Trade Clearing, Settlement, & Processing

Session 21 study questions

Blockchain could save investment banks up to $12 billion a year: Accenture ’ Reuters (January 17, 2017)

ISDA Publishes Digital Iteration of the Common Domain Model ’ ISDA (June 5, 2018)

ASX’s Proposed Distributed Ledger and the Future of Clearing and Settlement ’ Leung, Medium (May 21, 2018)

Optional Reading:

Distributed ledger technology in payments, clearing, and settlement’ (PDF) Mills, et al; Federal Reserve Finance and Economics Discussion Series (2016-095) 

22 

Trade Finance & Supply Chain

Session 22 study questions

Hong Kong, Singapore to link up trade finance blockchain platforms ’ Reuters (October 25, 2017)

Barclays says conducts first blockchain-based trade-finance deal ’ Reuters (September 7, 2016)

Business Interest in Blockchain Picks Up While Cryptocurrency Causes Conniptions ’ Wall Street Journal (February 6, 2018)

De Beers turns to blockchain to guarantee diamond purity ’ Reuters (January 16, 2018)

23 

Digital ID

Session 23 study questions

‘Self-sovereign identity: Why blockchain? ’ IBM (June 13, 2018)

Blockchain and Digital Identity –A Good Fit? ’ Olshansky & Wilson, Internet Society (March 13, 2018)

Can blockchain ease banks’ digital-identity concerns? ’ American Banker (March 27, 2018)

Blockchains and Digital Identity ’ Toward Data Science (March 10, 2018)

Singapore Regulator, Banks Complete KYC Blockchain Prototype ’ CCN (October 4, 2017)

Digital Diploma Debuts at MIT ’ MIT News (October 17, 2017)  

24 

Conclusion

Session 24 study questions

No readings

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

theaters Lecture Videos
assignment Written Assignments